What's Wrong with Europe?
Ok, Europe doesn't know how to make babies, economic growth, or orderly lift lines anymore. Of the three issues cited, the third is definitely the worst. The next time some cranky Frenchman accuses us of neanderthalic behavior for invading some dictator's villa, I'll just tell them that, no, unlike you barbarians, at least we can queue.
So, here's the question- other than North America ('cause they queue real well in Canada, too), is there any other place in the world where there are orderly lift lines? I'm betting Asia has good lift line management... Ibotta, you ever ski in Asia? Has anyone ever skied in Asia? Anyone know anything on the lines over there? What about New Zealand and Australia? Perhaps this is an Anglo-Saxon thing... did the Vikings and Normans daintily storm into Dover one boat at a time ("after you, Olgar the Thunderous." "No no, Vlet the Destroyer, you first, I insist.")?
In Asia,don't they switch the wheels on thier rickshaws(spelling?) with sled runners & run you up the Mtn??!
EU [with the exception of GB] never did know how to queue. I lived there for 27 years and did lots of what I can best describe as the 'swarming' which done at sports venues, bus stops, supermarket checkout counters, etc.. It's just not in the EU psyche to line up for anything. Here in the US we are members of what I have heard defined as a 'self queuing society'; which we consider a good thing, but Europeans consider unnecessary and a bit OCD. In the EU, swarming is part of the package; just consider it local color and you'll get along fine. Everything just kinda sorts itself out as you get closer to the entrance, checkout, whatever. I don't understand why Americans get uptight about it.
Nothing wrong with Europe... unless the inability of Europeans (with the significant difference being the UK) to make queues, lines or any other organized form of orderly process bothers you... I'd much rather ski Zermatt than Aspen anyday.
First, on the subject of Japan, skiing is a fav past time. Spent 4 years there in different places, from the tropics to the barren tundra. They have some nice resorts in the Japanese Alps. The good: great snow, friendly people, and the hot springs. Many if not most of the ski resorts in Japan are on thermal sources and bathing is a popular if not obsessive custom in Japan. Most of the time the hot springs are free... Individually, the Japanese are awesome. The most polite people on earth and also, about one of the most sensitive to unpoliteness and rudeness. They loooove Elvis, country music (but abhore redneck behavior) and go absolutely ga-ga over Kentucky Fried Chicken. Despite their individual nobleness, when they get in a crowd, however, they will run you over. They are the cleanest and most tidy people but then you go climb Mt Fuji and the trail is strewn with garbage...
Most of the ski areas are in Hokkaido (Remember Sapporo's Olympics?) or Northern Honshu (Nagano's Olympics if you remember) and if you look at the map, that's at the level with Siberia... well North of Vladivostok... with matching weather. It can get downright nasty in Hokkaido. That calls for "iffy" snow many times, as the Siberian Highs tend to be Northwesterly dry winds. However, when a Pacific Low comes in from the East, it is winter wonderland.
We went to the Nozawa Onsen resort. It is an old old place, and back then the train to Nagano and then off to the town and then the bus took a long time, a friend of mine who is stationed in Japan told me the new Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagano cuts the time to a bare 1.5 hours. Skiing, as is everything in Japan, is terribly expensive (you can buy a Rolex for the price of a round of golf at some resorts)
The place was mainly blue and green. Japanese have a penchant for discipline and there must be a rule that specifies they must stay on piste, because no one went past the ropes. If you saw someone coming back to the base from the out-of bounds area, it was either US or German...
Like anything in Japan, understanding Japanese culture is a must. They think we are boorish and uncult... we tend to think they are automatons. But some of the cultural differences are so unique, besides the old addagio that one never wears shoes in a house or ryokan... That's why traveling is so awesome. for example:
In most places in Japan, there is ONE rest room at restaurants and public places. They are all over the place, but there is one, I mean one... Toilets are shaped differently. They are called binjoes. The person on the stall next to you may be of the opposite sex. Then you politely greet them as you wash your hands...
On the hot spring bathing... you have to shed the US hangups on nudity, men and ladies bathrooms, and the generally victorian stupidity of our social order (forgive the frankness). Men and women bathe in these public places together and no one cares. They have been doing it like that for two thousand years...
Eating: It is polite to slurp your soup... Likewise, a small burp at the end of the meal conveys acceptance and enjoyment of the meal to your host. Servings are small. Gluttony is seen as social evil.
Skiing: It is extremely easy to make Japanese friends. Especially if they want to practice their English.
I had the time of my life in Japan. The two times I went skiing there were superb. You won't see the equivalent of Vail or Davos or Bariloche, but you will definitely have fun
Perhaps this is an Anglo-Saxon thing... did the Vikings and Normans daintily storm into Dover one boat at a time ("after you, Olgar the Thunderous." "No no, Vlet the Destroyer, you first, I insist.")?
If both European and American resorts hired some of those out-of-work Vikings, Visogoths, Huns and other barbarians in the Capitol One commercials, I bet there'd be a lot more order in the lift lines.
You know, that's not a bad idea. They're looking for jobs according to the latest commercials. Perhaps we can hire them at Moonshine! Rusty on ski patrol, Vlad the Smelter on liftline duty... Jimmy- given that Dubai has figured out how to make snow at 100F, would we do better to hire Valhalla or some contractors from UAE for our snowmaking operations?
I think Visigoths would fit better with the heavy drinking and party culture we're trying to promote, but who knows...
OK Ya.....ithink johnl and rogerzee, u are onto somethink here.......not sure as i've had a very trying day.....i've been analyzing and am very concerned with another question -Is puerile powder the same as fetal snow?
oh well, back to the question at hand....i agree that vikings, huns OR visigoths would be a great addition to the "culture" at Moonshine, ..can't have em' all tho as they'd constantly be at each others throats, prolly ruin my liebenschraum.....so the huns are out since they're afraid of water, a main ingredient in our liquid gold.....vikings, hmmmm. My vote would be for Euric the Unifier and The Visigoths (cool name for the house band at kwills still, eh?)as they would certainly lend an europeein air to the place and perhaps be able to help the folks from the yuppie ghetto and dog holler co-exist peacefully
I just noticed this is post #500. A mind is a terrible thing to waste!